I want to think I’m back to normal, but then I hear from a friend. One says she’s struggling in her marriage when she’d never struggled before. Another is overwhelmed by ever increasing job expectations, balancing work and family in new ways she never expected. Or even worse, there are some friends I don’t hear from at all anymore. The things we do look like we’re back to normal, but our hearts are telling us something different.
A phrase I keep hearing at church, a quote from David Powlison, says something like, “Things that grow in a secret garden always grow mutant.” We’re seeing this truth before our eyes. In our isolation, our hearts revealed some things, the good and the bad. But because we were disconnected from community, most of us weren’t able to deal with these things properly. So the grew and they mutated. And we’re trying to deal with the fallout.
So how can we handle the weight?
- We can recognize that while our actions feel back to normal, it’s okay for our hearts to take a bit longer. Working to heal our hearts may take time and intentional care.
- Find church community. Friendship is hard but worth it. Don’t wait for someone to come to you, but seek others out. Find a safe place where you can shine light on what you’ve allowed to grow mutant in isolation. You need brothers and sisters in Christ to walk with you through seasons of hurting.
- Remember the gospel, because it’s too easy to forget. I love that the book of Deuteronomy keeps telling us to remember. Remember what the Lord has done. If you are in Christ, he has brought you from death to life, he released you from the chains of sin, and he brought you out of darkness and into light. He promises to be with you and never forsake you. But it’s easier to remember with your church community and when you accept that hearts take time to heal.
While the last two years have been hard, and the hard part isn’t completely over, we can trust that the Lord is with us. Even now, he is bringing the dead to life. He is extending hope to those who had none. He is granting victory over sin where everyone thought it was impossible. And while my heart feels anything but normal, I trust that he will bring light and healing again. My heart may not get back to normal, I believe it will be better.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!” – Ephesians 2:4-5